Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/20

On free health clinics

Referring to Bill Morem’s write-up of the Noor Free Clinic (Oct. 13), I wish to correct the record that this is the first free general clinic in this county.

First, I wish to congratulate Dr. Nooristani for his strong humanitarian drive and his accomplishment in organizing this service. The big problem is assuring sustainability, so let us hope he gets many continuing contributors. They become part of a great gift.

Another free general clinic of which I have personal knowledge (there may have been others) is the Nipomo Clinic for migrant farm workers and families, started in 1963. That general clinic was developed by the County Health Department and funded as part of the Migrant Health Program by the U.S. Public Health Service.

A private house in Nipomo was rented by the county as the base for services there and equipped with all the accoutrements of a general clinic.

Extensive outreach was developed with vehicles provided to the staff, including a minibus to transport patients.

A secret to the success of that clinic was the work of an extraordinary person, supervising public health nurse Mrs. Bea Von Stein.

For more details, the story of the Nipomo Clinic can be found in the “Public Health Reports” journal, which can be found online.

George Harper

Health Officer, San Luis Obispo County, 1960-68.

Rand changed life

If this Occupy Wall Street protest that’s going on now sounds familiar to some of us, we only have to think of the great book “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. The gist of the story is that the working classes, unions and welfare recipients were striking and marching because they wanted higher pay and more welfare.

At the same time, the inventors, designers, corporate heads and philanthropists were dropping out of sight, disappearing. What was happening? Seems the worker bees, who had never invented or created anything that would provide jobs for anyone were angry that these folks we receiving compensation for their efforts. So, the creative folks just disappeared from society.

All I can say about this book is that it changed my life and the way I thought about society and work and creativity. I was a true capitalist after reading this. Those who don’t do anything resent those who do. Why don’t the marchers stop and think about their lives and start producing something? Or, if they want to picket those who have really made a zillion dollars for doing absolutely nothing, then visit the Kardashians.

Patti Launders


Kop-like kandidates

Do you remember the Keystone Kops? The Republican candidates competing for the presidential nomination are the political equivalent of the Keystone Kops.

Stanley Reichenberg

San Luis Obispo

Seeking deep roots

The Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival has come and gone, and again it leaves me wondering how the grand marshals are chosen. I have lived here long enough to remember that the honorees used to be chosen because they had “deep roots” here. They came from farming, ranching, dairy or old family business backgrounds.

A few years ago, my sister-in-law nominated some very deserving ladies. They were born and raised here, in their 80s — very “deep-rooted,” I’d say. They were passed over for a couple who moved here five years before.

What’s up with that?

Also my husband spoke with some businesses that were waiting to be judged for the decorating contest. They spent a lot of time and effort and looked great. They even made refreshments for the judges, but the judges never showed up. Many days later, someone came in and took photos of the decorations. That’s how they were judged. How disappointing!

There is a year to look up and study the history and traditions of the Harvest Festival. It would be wonderful to see some of the lost traditions at the 2012 Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival.

Linda Cecchetti

Arroyo Grande

Thanks for help

‘Transitions-Mental Health Association would like to thank Edna Valley Vineyard for generously hosting our Ten Trunks of Treasures fundraiser on Oct. 9! Hats off to Chef José Dahan of Et Voilà Restaurant in San Luis Obispo for the fabulous and delectable French cuisine. Thanks to Café Musique for providing musical atmosphere and sparkle.

Delicious desserts were donated by Wyndham Residence, Jean Dorn, Apple Farm, and Kelly’s Creations. And we could not have done it without the hardworking Tina Hoppe, events coordinator for Edna Valley Vineyard.

Thanks to these wonderful supporters, we can continue to dedicate ourselves to the effort of eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services. Thanks also to those who attended and to our volunteers for their continued dedication in helping to inspire hope, growth, recovery and wellness in our communities.

We look forward to next year’s event!

Jill Bolster-White

Executive director, Transitions-Mental Health Association

Vaccines necessary

After reading “Survey: Kids go without vaccines” (Oct. 2), I was surprised how many parents make a conscious decision to not get their children vaccinated. This year, Atascadero Unified School District “required” that all students get vaccinated against whooping cough by receiving the Tdap vaccine.

As a high school student, I was amazed by how easy it was to get out of the requirement as well as how many students didn’t get the vaccine. To get out of the requirement, all that was asked was that you fill out and return a paper stating it was against your beliefs to have your child receive the vaccine.

Public schools need to protect themselves from disease within their walls, and in order for this to happen effectively, everyone needs to get vaccinated. It astounds me that parents make the decision to not get their children vaccinated even though this is really the only way to protect their children from illness.

Unless you want to keep your child in quarantine for their entire life, get them vaccinated before it’s too late. Besides, who doesn’t want their kid to be healthy?

Kathrine St. Clair


Walk against hunger

The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County wishes to thank walkers throughout the county who participated in the 2011 Hunger Walk: Ending Hunger One Step at a Time. Almost 1,000 people participated at one of our eight sites throughout the county and raised over $62,000 in the fight against hunger.

A big thank-you and congratulations to the walkers, the site leaders who hosted each walk, to our sponsors, KSBY, Yesterdays Sportswear, The Tribune, KVEC NewsTalk, Cat Country, and Coast Radio.

We also appreciate the participation of the churches and nonprofits around the county, especially to our co-sponsor, Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice. Service clubs, grocery stores and businesses helped us in this walk against hunger, and because of all of your efforts, we will be able to provide over 300,000 meals in our county.

As we enter the holiday season, we are very grateful for a community that is so generous and responsive to the challenge in the fight against hunger through your support of the Food Bank Coalition and the other nonprofit agencies that we serve.

Carl R. Hansen

Executive director, Food Bank Coalition of SLO County

Judges deserve pay

Allan Mayer believes local judges are overpaid (letters, Oct. 16). I respectfully disagree. I disclose that my husband is a retired appellate judge who took a pay cut when he left civil law practice to accept a judicial position. I write to defend the local bench without a direct economic stake.

As an attorney, I am convinced judicial compensation must be high enough to attract a balance of criminal and civil experts. My former job at the court of appeal was to review alleged errors by trial courts and recommend reversal in appropriate cases. It is costly when trial courts must be reversed and matters retried. Even the best jurists will be reversed occasionally, but a bench with expertise in all areas will require fewer retrials. Balance is essential.

A highly skilled prosecutor typically has little or no previous experience with civil law and motion matters. The finest civil lawyer doesn’t have the background to instruct a jury in a murder case. It takes years for a newly appointed judge from either sector to learn the ropes. Judges’ pay should be high enough to attract lawyers from both sectors.

We are fortunate to have qualified jurists in our area and should build on that strength. The message that all public servants are greedy is gaining traction these days.

I don’t buy it.

Patty Andreen

Avila Beach